Humanities vs. Sciences

6 Oct

Many students, myself included, identify either as Science/Math people or Language Arts/Social Science people. We Language Arts/Social Science people think that Science/Math people are nerds, and in return they think we have no brains.

Why has society always seemed to encourage the separation of these two groups? What is so strange about being  interested in English as well as Science? Both greatly influence our life experiences– so mustn’t the fields coincide somehow?

Indeed they do. Let my current English class stand as the perfect example of an interdisciplinary course.  It is called English 119, “What’s For Dinner? Writing About Food”. Not only do we write extensively about food, but we also analyze American society’s consumer behavior and its resulting relationship with the environment.

Our first assignment was to do an Amazon search of the word ‘food’ and then analyze our results based on the items’ popularity.

Although there were a few strange outliers that  didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the food-related books (i.e. Craving God: a 21-Day Devotional Challenge and Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl–A Woman’s Guide to Holding Her Own In A Relationship), I was able to divide upper-middle class Americans into three categories based on my search results.

1. Those that wanted to add to their culinary repertoires without altering their current lifestyles.

2. Those that desired a speedy decrease to their waistlines.

3. Those that wanted to make a permanent change in their consuming habits.

Group 3 includes the people that are buying books such as The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. They want to educate themselves about our nation’s current food crisis, and would like to alter their consumer habits in order to become more healthful and less wasteful.

As we study sustainability via reading and writing in my English class, we ‘non-sciency’ students are able to reach a common ground with those ‘left-brain’ thinkers. When information is presented in relation to our interests, it becomes  much more applicable to our lives.

-Angela Magyari

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